In an effort to recover from its $7.5 million deficit, Clark Atlanta University will eliminate its engineering department, school of library studies, international affairs department, allied health professions program and the systems science doctorate program in 2008.
In 2003, after the Board of Trustees voted in favor of the eliminations, the University began to phase out the programs, a process which will be complete in 2007.
”We got into financial troubles because we spread ourselves too thin,” said Clark Atlanta University President Walter Broadnax last March. He believes that focusing on business, mass media, biology, education and social work will not only attract more donors, but build the University’s profile as well.
Closing the engineering program would mean ending the only black engineering program in Georgia. To contest the decision, eight engineering professors and a group of engineering students filed a lawsuit on Oct. 28, 2005 in which the hearing is set for Nov. 10. According to CNN.com, “the lawsuit alleges Broadnax based the phase-out on personal preferences, not on financial needs or department performance.”
However, not all students at Clark Atlanta are entirely opposed to the program closings.
“I think it’s unfortunate that they have to close but it’s not an optional thing for us,” said Anddria Clack, a junior business major. “It’s for the benefit of the school; keeping it open would be very costly. Everyone will still be able to get their degrees. The University just won’t be accepting anymore students into those programs.”